Grand Prix of Great Britain – Qualifying

The teams are sure to be looking forward to the end of three back-to-back races (France, Austria and now GB) and a chance to catch their breath! Racefans.net report “Exhausted” F1 teams told no triple-header again in 2019

Annoyingly there’s a lot of talk of World Cup football intermixed with F1 reporting; I doubt the footie reporters are throwing in many F1 references. 🙁

If HAM wins this weekend, he’ll beat Jim Clark’s record as the most successful Brit at a British Grand Prix; it would also be the 44th victory for him in car #44. However, Mercedes are concerned their double retirement in Austria might result in penalties for this race; we won’t know until Quali get underway as that’s when they have to declare any engine changes.

HAM is just one point behind VET, and Ferrari are 10 points ahead of Mercedes.

News since last week:

  • Eric Boullier, racing director at McLaren, has resigned (or was he pushed?) following the team’s poor performance [racefans.net]
    CEO Zak Brown said they “have not met the expectations of anyone at McLaren, especially our loyal fans” and “This is not the fault of the hundreds of committed and hard-working men and women at McLaren. The causes are systemic and structural, which require major change from within.”
    McLaren said a “simplified” technical leadership had been put in place following his departure. IndyCar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Gil de Ferran, who was sporting director of former F1 team BAR between 2005 and 2007, has been appointed as McLaren’s new sporting director. Former Ferrari race engineer Andrea Stella has become the team’s performance director with responsibility for trackside operations. McLaren Racing chief operating officer Simon Roberts will handle production and logistical matters.

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: HAM (1:27.487), BOT, VET, RIC, RAI
    Mercedes “has installed a third engine, turbocharger and MGU-H on Bottas’s car, and his second MGU-K” [racefans.net]
    GRO failed to deactivate DRS going into Abbey Curve, lost the tail and ended up in the tyre wall; he’ll miss FP2 while his Haas is repaired [F1]
    MAG (in the other Haas) and ALO had to see the stewards for some unnecessarily aggressive driving [F1]
    VER’s Red Bull lost power, parking it on the main straight after the engine cut out coming out of the final turn
  2. FP2: VET (1:27.552), HAM, BOT, RAI, RIC
    VER put his Red Bull in the wall … his 3rd crash in a Practice session this season (plus 4 in races) [F1]
  3. FP3: HAM (1:26.772), RAI, BOT, VET, VER
    HAR has a big off at Brooklands – the front left suspension failed on his Toro Rosso; he says he’s fine but he’ll have to undergo medical checks because of the scale of the impact

The FIA have told Toro Rosso to change every suspension component before GAS can run in Quali; HAR was given the all clear but is not expected to be able to run as the mechanics are still rebuilding his car

VET is receiving treatment for neck pain sustained in FP3

Air temperature 21°C; track is a scorching 51°C
Available tyre compounds are hard, medium and soft

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
GAS is the first out of the pit lane – Toro Rosso probably want the time to make sure his suspension is fine
GAS 1:29.657
GRO 1:28.895
STR has gone off at Brooklands; beached it in the gravel
Red flag (session suspended) so they can recover STR’s Williams
Queue starts to form behind LEC waiting for the green lights
SIR under investigation for failing to enter the pit lane under red flags
RAI 1:27.647
SIR has gone off at Stowe, across the gravel but he’s kept it moving and rejoins the track
RAI 1:27.549
VET 1:26.585
(HAM P2)
(VER P3)
(BOT P3)
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are VAN, ALO, STR, SIR, HAR
ALO P8, relegating SAI to P16
Chequered flag
Back of the grid: SAI, VAN, SIR, STR*, HAR*
*HAR and STR will need to ask the stewards for permission to race because they didn’t set a Q1 time
If SIR did ignore the red flags, then expect a big penalty
SAI blames MAG for locking up in front of him and “couldn’t see Turn 3”

Qualifying session 2
HAM on soft tyres; same for BOT, VET
HAM abandons his quick lap
BOT 1:26.413
VET 1:26.372
(RAI P3)
HAM 1:26.256
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are HUL, PER, ALO, ERI, GAS
HAM is on track again – presumably looking to improve his time in order to start the race on a different set of tyres
HAM abandons his lap and pits
Chequered flag
GAS improves to P14
Middle of the grid: HUL, PER, ALO, GAS, ERI

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, GRO, MAG, LEC and OCO
RAI 1:26.296
HAM 1:25.993
BOT P2
VER P4
RIC P5
VET 1:25.936
OCO P7
RIC reported a problem with opening his DRS
Order after first run: VET, HAM, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, OCO; no time yet from GRO, MAG, LEC
Red Bull report RIC’s DRS problem was a FOM software glitch not allowing him to open it
MAG P7
Front runners head out for their final run
GRO P8
HAM 1:25.892
Chequered flag
BOT P3
VET P2
VER P5
RAI P3
LEC P9
Front of the grid: HAM, VET, RAI, BOT, VER, RIC, MAG, GRO, LEC, OCO

That’s HAM’s 4th consecutive British GP pole, 6 in total
You can see his hand shaking as he takes his helmet off and takes a moment beside his car

Provisional grid: HAM, VET, RAI, BOT, VER, RIC, MAG, GRO, LEC, OCO, HUL, PER, ALO, GAS, ERI, SAI, VAN, SIR, STR*, HAR*
*HAR and STR will need to ask the stewards for permission to race because they didn’t set a Q1 time

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